Before you Switch Web Hosts

Are you frustrated with your current webhosting company and want to go elsewhere? On a tight deadline to cancel your current hosting contract?

Hold on, grass is always greener on the other side until you get there. Here’re things you should consider before taking that decision (and not get into the same situation again in a year or so!).

What’s bothering you?

Are you considering a move because your site got hacked? The host increased price? Support was not up to the mark?
Stay objective, make a list of improvements that would have made you stay with the current host. Certain things like DDoS attacks are not always something your host could prevent. Downtime, on the other hand, could mean something wrong with the current infrastructure. Let’s discuss some of the most important things you need to consider choosing your next host.

Hard to leave hosts

Some web hosts (especially ones with unusual low prices and free domain names) tend to keep your site or contents hostage. Read very carefully those ToS related to free domain services and availability of periodic backups. In the event of a server/site crash, you may end up paying heavy bucks to get that “automatic backups” promised during the sale. The very minimum you should look at would be the possibility generating and downloading of manual full-backups.

Domain transfers can be tricky, should you want to move that “free” domain form the hosting company. I would say just stay away from using that free domain and buy the domain elsewhere. (Heard? “not all eggs in the one basket”)

“Unlimited” is a myth

Almost all web hosts advertise some sort of unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains, databases and so on. However, going through the details technical ToS will make it clear to you that there is a limit to everything in these unlimited plans. Be wary of the database query execution limits if query failures and slowness were some of the reasons you decided to move out from current host.

Special tools and access

SSH, Cron, ability to switch PHP versions etc. are certain items that vary across similarly priced hosting packages across web hosts. Not all of these may be needed by you, but make sure the host offers the access and tools you really need. Just ignore those bloatware and one-click install stuff advertised in the feature comparisons.

Cheap Hosting, Probably Not Again!

There’s no free (or cheap for that matter) lunch. Problems that you face due to sub-par infrastructure will most likely continue to haunt you in the new but again-cheap webhost. While there’s no definition of cheap; try to stick to well-known brands.

Co-branded Hosts

You guess it! There are a lot of hosting companies operating under multiple names. You might have heard about EIG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group) Group that had been on an acquisition spree and now hold more than 80 hosting brands under their umbrella. Have a look and you’ll notice all those hosts you were comparing actually belong to this one parent company. Surprise!

Having said that, there are pretty good non-EIG hosts out there: A2Hosting, InMotionHosting, SiteGround, StableHost, MDDHosting to name a few. One of these may be the way to go if your major dissatisfaction has been related to corporate governance or support/policies.

Be critical of “Reviews”

Internet is flooded with hosting reviews and you will find all sorts of reviews for almost all budget web hosts. Do your research and don’t let a certain review affect your decision. Try to intact via live chat on the host’s website and ask questions. That’s the way to go.

Web hosting landscape is full of volatility; especially because there are so many factors with the potential to bring in overnight changes, e.g.: overcrowding accounts, spike in traffic on someone’s website, bots and not to forget DDoS attackes. The rule of thumb again: Stay up to date with your sites’ code and scripts; keep offline backups and it will be super easy to restore your websites and move on. After having used and analyzed the top shared hosting packages out there, A2Hosting is the latest we’re recommending to new clients. Let us know if you made use of this recommendation and it has been a smooth ride with them.

If this helped you make your mind for the new host please drop a line. Your comment may save other readers from the horrors of host-switching. Have a nice day; and best wishes for your online venture!

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